Passenger vehicle market leader Maruti Suzuki India’s ‘problem’ of plenty has grown bigger. From the new vehicle bookings of 387,000 units it had a month ago and 280,000 units in Q1 FY2023, the company’s current cumulative pending orders has crossed the 400,000-unit mark at 417,000 units.
This latest update was provided by Shashank Srivastava, Senior Executive Officer (Marketing and Sales), Maruti Suzuki India. The carmaker continues to see strong consumer demand for the new Brezza compact SUV, launched on June 30 at Rs 799,000, and the midsized Maruti Grand Vitara, unveiled on July 20. As of end-August, the new Brezza had 70,000-odd pending bookings and the premium Baleno hatchback had 38,000 units.
Vehicle manufacturing capacity utilisation at India's largest carmaker is touching 94 percent across its plants in Gurgaon, Manesar and the parent Suzuki Motor Corp-owned facility in Gujarat, and models such as the Wagon R, Swift, Baleno and Ertiga, are the prime contenders occupying the maximum waiting periods.
Maruti Suzuki has a vehicle manufacturing capacity of 2.3 million units per annum. This comprises 700,000 units at Plant 1 (Gurgaon) in two shifts at two assembly facilities, 880,000 units at Plant 2 (Manesar) in two shifts at three assembly facilities, and 750,000 units at Plant 3 (Suzuki Motor Corp plant at Hansalpur, Gujarat).
CNG models account for 30% of pending orders
Maruti Suzuki India, which has the first-mover advantage in the CNG car market, continues to witness strong demand for its CNG models– Alto, S-Presso, Wagon R, Celerio, Dzire, Ertiga, Eeco, Super Carry and Tour-S and more recently the Swift. Of the carmaker’s current order backlog of 417,000 units, CNG variants account for 30% or around 125,000 units.
Bullish on demand for new Grand Vitara
The company is now gearing up to launch the new Grand Vitara midsize SUV ahead of the festive season, and says it is bullish about the new model that is likely to expand the market.
"What I feel will turn out to be very positive for the Grand Vitara is the sheer range of options on offer," Srivastava, mentioned in a roundtable at the SUV's media drive event in Udaipur yesterday.
The new Grand Vitara spans a whole range of trims, including its manual, automatic, all-wheel drive and strong-hybrid variant offerings. The SUV is targeted against the Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos, and uniquely offers mild- and strong-hybrid powertrains, as well as an all-wheel drive option.
FY2023 set to be a good year
According to Srivastava, the PV industry is likely to cross wholesales of a million units in the July-September 2022 quarter, setting the segment on track for a record FY2023. Between April-August 2022, the PV segment has recorded cumulative wholesales of 14,85,506 units, up 30% year on year and 48% of FY2022’s 30,69,499 units. While this will still be much below FY2019’s record 33,77,389 units, the surging demand for SUVs will power much of the growth this fiscal.
Srivastava added that realising volumes of over 900,000 units across three consecutive quarters, right from Q4 FY22, has only been possible due to improved availability of parts, including semiconductors. "Having said that, this might not be the actual demand status which can only be estimated once the backorder situation gets normalised and we have enough production going forward," he added.